Children learn as they play. Most importantly,
in play children learn how to learn.
-O. Fred Donaldson
While the children were busy outdoors exploring I saw a group of girls who were working together in the kitchen area. I approached them as they scooped up dirt into pans.
Ms. Diana: ¿Hola, que hacen? (Hello, what are you all doing?)
Juliet: We need this dirt. Ms. Diana ¿Para que ocupan la tierra? (What do you need the dirt for?)
Dahlia: We’re getting ready.
Ms. Diana: ¿Que van hacer? (What are you all going to do?)
Lucy: Ms. Diana estamos haciendo un pastel. (Ms. Diana we’re making a cake)
Calista: I have more mud.
Dahlia and Juliet help Calista put the mud she brought into the small pan.
Lucy: I set the timer.
Juliet: Why do we have to wait?
Dahlia: Needs time to bake.
Ms. Diana: ¿Con que hacen su pastel? (What are you making your cake with?)
Lucy: We put some baking soda, flour, and a little bit of sugar. Now I’m patting it so it doesn’t melt.
Calista: Now I’m patting it so it doesn’t melt.
Lucy: Yes and so it can be beautiful.
Dahlia: I want to put a pretty pretty flower.
Ms. Diana: En donde pueden encontrar la flor? (Where can you find a flower?)
Calista: We can get it from the tree.
Juliet: I want the pink flowers for our cake.
Ms. Diana: ¿Porque solo las rosadas? (Why just the pink ones?)
Calista: It could be a strawberry cake.
Lucy: Yea lets go to the tree.
Juliet, Lucy, Calista and Dahlia all agree and head to the lemon tree together. They begin to pick at its flowers and buds.
Dahlia: Like we’re berry picking.
Calista: Mine are really big.
Lucy: I think my flowers are gonna be really sour.
Dahlia: They’re the berries for our cake.
Calista: Yea it’s a strawberry cake.
Every girl had their hands full of flowers they had picked.
Juliet: Ok that’s enough berries then.
Together they went back to the kitchen area and started to fill the top of the cake with “berries”.
Lucy: It looks great for our picnic.
Juliet: Ok our cake is done.
As the children play pretend they are critically thinking and collaborating in a shared idea. They are learning essential lessons to cooperate, listen, and share. Calista, Dahlia, Juliet and Lucy all took part in making one cake together. Each girl expressed their own creative ideas and took turns listening to each other. They were not just exploring their environment and playing pretend, but building social relationships and self-confidence too.